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The Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation. Membership is open to both American Indian and non-American Indian businesses and individuals.

The MAICC works to achieve entrepreneurial parity for American Indian businesses, non-profits, professionals, and Tribal communities by developing comprehensive asset-centered strategies centered on innovative ideas, alliances and partnerships that embrace technology, entrepreneurship and economic development.

Purchasing Power:

The MAICC is making a difference.  In 2015, we have facilitated two gatherings of Tribal Leaders to implement a joint purchasing effort. What is the purchasing power of the Tribal Governments, their economic development entities, and Native owned businesses in the State of Minnesota?  How much do we collectively spend?  Where do our purchasing dollars go? If we collectively join together and make a commitment to purchase from each other, can we make a difference?  Are we able to make smart economic development decisions on the Reservation to create jobs, improve the local economy, and start businesses that we KNOW will be successful? The MAICC says YES!!!  The golden questions are, “Where do we start?” “How do we measure our success?”

At the second Tribal Leaders Forum on Economic Development, participant engagement and feedback was very positive and revealing.  Throughout the forum, participants spoke frankly about concerns, challenges and possibilities. Tribal leaders raised a number of important points to consider as this process moves forward. The biggest take-a-ways from the discussion include:

  • Trust among tribes is an important barrier to moving forward. Building trust through small victories is key to building longer term and more robust arrangement.
  • Tribes sharing purchasing and sales data is a barrier, but tribes are willing to start small and see how a process would work and how it would benefit everyone.
  • Tribes had specific questions about Where to start? and Who will lead this process? These questions remain on top of mind. Also, participants wanted to know what product would be a good place to start?  (Participants seemed comfortable with paper products.)
  • Participants agreed the MAICC plays an important role in guiding and facilitating a process for the tribes.
  • Leadership is ready to take the next step and explore the benefits of collective purchasing power.
  • The appetite for exploring joint purchasing was very high. When asked who would be willing to explore next steps, all hands were raised.

Conclusion

In the end, despite a relatively short time together, the energy and interest among participating leaders was high.  Participants were engaged and eager to explore a specific product or item that would help illustrate potential for future joint purchasing possibilities.  While there was an overall air of optimism, there also existed some reservations around sharing data for fear of giving possible competitive edge to another tribal enterprise, namely gaming.  However, after further discussion, it was agreed that certain products are used by all tribes and that sharing data to understand leveraging potential was needed.  It was suggested that a trusted third party entity collect, aggregate and analyze the data and provide information back to the group to help inform future decisions.

Minnesota tribes are willing to take the next step.  Strong guidance and support is needed.  Small victories are critical to ensure further buy-in and future success.  MAICC is up to the task!  Please show your support and join the MAICC.

Native Diversification Network – Procurement Technical Assistance Center

 The MAICC is entering our third year of hosting the Native Diversification Network – Procurement Technical Assistance Center (NDN-PTAC).  The NDN-PTAC connects federal, state and local government contract opportunities with American Indian and Tribally owned businesses.  The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an Agency within the Department of Defense (DoD), is sponsoring three consecutive one-year federal grants, totaling $600,000 per year, with the stipulation that the hosting organization provide $200,000 in matching funds. The MAICC is seeking matching funds that will allow us to receive our Federal matching funds.

The NDN-PTAC Mission:

 THE NDN-PTAC has a dedicated team of professionals with a passion and desire to assist in the economic development of Tribes and Indian owned businesses within Indian Country. Through our combined education and practical experience, we will assist businesses to more easily navigate the maze of government contracting policies, procedures, & regulations.

The Goal of the NDN-PTAC is Three Fold: 

  1. Increase the number of capable tribal and individual member-owned businesses that can do business with government agencies and private industry.
  2. Establish business relationships between those businesses and the various government agencies and private industry.
  3. Improve reservation economies through the use of government contracting opportunities.

Other MAICC Activities:

  • The Tribal and American Indian Business Community is represented at the Diversity and Inclusion Commission initiated by Governor Dayton. The State of Minnesota is committed to supporting American Indian and Tribally owned businesses by creating access to their procurement activities.  We are at the table providing guidance and accountability to make this happen!
  • Annual Chamber Events: MAICC’s Annual Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament are premier events bringing members, collaborative and corporate partners, and tribal leaders together to celebrate member accomplishments. These events provide additional sponsorship, marketing visibility and network opportunities for your business. We also will host another FUN evening with the St. Paul Saints!
  • Annual Chamber Business Meeting: Held in the first quarter each year for the purpose of electing new directors and transacting any other business authorized by membership.
  • Tribal and American Indian Business Directory available on our website at maicc.org. Members receive expanded profiles.  Join now!

Join the chamber here.